Community Preschool

preschool children at Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

Give your child a fun, unique, and adventurous learning experience that will last a lifetime. At Drumlin Farm Community Preschool, children learn through hands-on nature-based experiences that address the developmental needs of children ages 3 to 5 as they explore the varied habitats at the sanctuary. Guided by the philosophy that multi-sensory, inquiry-based exploration of the natural world will foster curiosity and persistence in young learners, we encourage children to develop positive dispositions for future learning.

Curriculum

Children playing at Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Community Preschool

Our emergent curriculum provides opportunities for indoor and outdoor play—both structured and unstructured—to develop cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth in each child. A sense of self and community are created through cooperative experiences and shared discoveries. Through outdoor adventures, art and cooking activities, books, music, and movement, children learn emergent math, science, and literacy skills as they investigate stimulating natural history topics.

Outdoor Exploration

Investigating the forests, fields, wetlands, and farm encourages emotional connections to the land, promotes physical development, and fosters a sense of discovery.

Spontaneous Play in Nature

Spontaneous play in a natural setting cultivates developing imagination. Investigating textures, sounds, smells, and sights through the changing seasons encourages vocabulary development.

Farm Chores

preschooler at Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Community Preschool watering plants

Feeding the farm animals, milking the cow, collecting eggs, and grooming the pony teaches children about the farm-to-table-connection, cooperation and persistence, and values regarding humane treatment of animals.

Wildlife Visits

Guided by staff, children engage in conversations at their level of understanding about the appearance, behavior, habitat, and adaptations of our resident reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

Planting and Harvesting

Planting, observing, nurturing, and harvesting vegetables and flowers in the Learning Garden and the greenhouse help children establish a better understanding of and appreciation for farming, soil, water, and life cycles.

Teachers and Class Size

Each class is co-taught by highly qualified early childhood educators who are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care. The maximum class size is 15 students. Staff to child ratio is 1:5.

Application Process and Enrollment

Drumlin Farm Community Preschool offers three 2-day sessions and one 3-day session. Children may be enrolled for up to two sessions. Early arrival, lunch bunch, and late pick-up options are available (see the application for more information).

Full Day - 4 day Sessions:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,  9:00 am - 4:00 pm

2-Day Sessions:

  • Tuesday & Thursday mornings, 9:00 am-noon
  • Monday & Wednesday afternoons, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
  • Tuesday & Thursday afternoons, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm

3-Day Session:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, 9:00 am-noon

For each session that a family applies for, an application and a $50 fee must be submitted. Drumlin Farm Community Preschool strives to balance the classes based on both gender and age. Within this framework, children are placed in classes on a first-come first-served basis.

Applications can be mailed to Drumlin Farm or are accepted in person at the Nature Center admissions window. Applications are accepted from all families without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, cultural history, political beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.

Drumlin Farm Community Preschool has been licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care since 2008.